Reference Work Entry

Structural Geology and Tectonics

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Science pp 18-25


  • A. M. Celal Sengör

The term aulacogen from the Greek aulax (ανλαξ) ‘furrow,’ introduced by N. S. Shatsky (1960, in Schmidt and Hoppe, 1971 and Dennis et al., 1979, pp. 14–16; see Milanorsky, 1981, p. 214 for reference to the term's first appearance in Soviet Literature 1961), was originally intended to designate narrow, elongate depressions that strike into cratons from reentrants that face an adjoining larger basin or a mountain belt that grew out of a geosyncline. Shatsky had recognized these structures in the 1940s (“transverse basins and transverse fractures”; p. 57) he considered them a subset of his marginal transverse structures of old platforms; Shatsky, 1946), and they appeared to have been genetically related to the larger basin into which they opened. He also noted that they internally segmented the cratons. Shatsky's original concept (Shatsky, 1946, 1955), which has since been modified, at least from the viewpoint of the genesis of these structures, may be summarized as follows: An aulacogen ...

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